Make Music Matter has previously announced efforts to work with Canada’s Indigenous population to help work through and heal the generational trauma that began with residential schools and extends through modern-day victim services.
Now the nonprofit organization is partnering with Aboriginal Legal Services in order to work toward developing a “culturally based healing model for Toronto’s Indigenous community,” the two groups announced earlier this week.
The organizations will work to create and provide training to both therapeutic and victim services teams at ALS, to allow them to expand their already impressive multidisciplinary approach.
“Workshops will center on MMM’s unique model of music therapy called Healing in Harmony,” the groups say. “ALS staff and community partners will explore strategies to help trauma survivors take ownership of their healing journey through the creative process, while integrating traditional Indigenous healing methods.”
“As a long-known leader in advocacy against gender-based violence against Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA+, ALS embraces this project and partnerships to provide staff new approaches and opportunities to tailor healing practices for survivors of violence and harm,” says Christa Big Canoe, ALS’ legal director. “Using artistic approaches that are grounded in traditional and cultural practices allows us as an Indigenous service organization to provide the best services to our community.”
The two groups have entered into a two-year partnership, to start, called “Culture to Wellness: Reimagining Holistic Healing Approaches for Indigenous Women, Girls and 2SLGBTQQIA+ People,” which also has the support of the Government of Canada.
“The high rates of violence against Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people are alarming,” says the Honourable Marci Ien, Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Youth. “We can’t undo the trauma they’ve experienced, but we can provide the necessary tools and training to support survivors of gender-based violence and their families. We cannot achieve true and lasting gender equality without ensuring the safety of diverse Indigenous people. The Government of Canada is committed to supporting the important work of Indigenous organizations across the country, including these critical and important services. Investing in these projects will address systemic issues and move us forward on the path to reconciliation.”
The announcement comes in the middle of Make Music Matter’s annual Healing in Harmony Holiday Auction, which runs through Sunday, Dec. 4.